In Town

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A sweary man goes by;

Young Pauline and her brood

Buy more unhealthy food,

As usual.


No trains run this weekend,

Replacement bus is late,

Street’s in a shoddy state,

As usual.


The sports shop has closed down;

New nail bars and the ‘caff’

Look positively naff,

As usual.


There, where the bank once was,

An empty carcass stands,

But no one dirties hands,

As usual.


We climb up on the roof,

To catch the muddled view.

Today there’s nothing new,

As usual.


A grumpy, unchained dog

Snarls at a passing kid.

The owner’s name is Sid,

As usual.

◄ Difficult Decisions

Referendum ►


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Frederick Kesner

Tue 27th Sep 2022 00:48

When the investment has done its run and of this town none left and all but rung, out goes the investors and their prospectors leaving folk quartered and disembowelled; and nary a cry of freedom.

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 26th Sep 2022 16:52

Thanks, Isobel. Unduly harsh on yourself, I think. Sorry to hear about Wigan. You make a fair point about not using high street shops. Perhaps we are all slaves to convenience now; I'm sure I am as guilty as anyone.

I see what you mean about charity/vintage shops, Martin. Some of them have become time-shifted versions of shops from the past and they have mushroomed into a highly organised sector. In some London commuter towns, they seem to dominate the high street, along with estate agents.

Thanks to Nigel for the like.

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Martin Elder

Mon 26th Sep 2022 12:18

It is sad to say that you have captured an everyday story of towns up and down the land very often filled with pound shops and fast-food outlets. I have also discovered that you can read a town by the number and the quality of its charity shops, some of which have become vintage shops. Many items in the said vintage shops I can remember from some years ago when I was a boy.
Nice one Stephen

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Mon 26th Sep 2022 09:15

Much better thought out than my political poem!

You could be describing my home town Wigan here, a carcass of what it used to be.

There's more to it than lack of funding though - which I'd agree doesn't help. We all want a shiny buzzing high street to visit when we fancy a day out , but how many of us want to buy their goods there rather than just browse and have a coffee?

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 26th Sep 2022 08:27

Thanks to Greg, Flyntland, John B, John C and Ray for commenting. The hollowing out of many mid-sized towns and the consequent lack of warmth and community (as your comment suggests, Flyntland) seems to be a Europe-wide phenomenon.

Ah, levelling up, Ray - it probably sounded a good slogan at the time. Not sure where it figured in last week's budget.

Greg and John C. There have been quite a few Sids, including, in my case, an uncle who ran off with a secretary on a building site. 'If you see Sid, tell him....' The jokes were endless, sadly. If I remember, the BP privatisation was the end of Sid culture.

Thanks once again, John B, and to Julie and Frederick for the likes.

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John Botterill

Sun 25th Sep 2022 17:15

A great poem, Stephen.
As usual. 😀

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Sun 25th Sep 2022 11:34

All is not lost Stephen, there is a levelling up minister now apparently.

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John Coopey

Sun 25th Sep 2022 11:01

Sid, indeed, Stephen and Greg. I certainly wasn't above taking advantage.

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Sun 25th Sep 2022 10:02

There is a weary air of accepting defeat in this poem. As usual, it speaks of broken spirits and hopelessness.

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Greg Freeman

Sun 25th Sep 2022 09:10

Ah, Sid! Whatever happened to him? I heard he sold his shares after only a year or two ...

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